Although it hasn’t graduated from the design stages yet, it’s fair to say that the Omnifer iPad case could well be a game-changer, particularly for the visually-impaired. On the surface of things, the Omnifer case looks like a strikingly-bright rubberised orange case. But it’s the surface of things that’s changeable, this iPad case turns text on the iPad’s screen into braille format.
You might be forgiven for thinking that a case that covers half of the iPad’s screen is a colossal design flaw, but it’s actually the most intelligent part of it. Inside this clever little case are a number of chambers filled with a light-sensitive gas that expands when exposed to light from the iPad’s screen. The thinking behind this is that, when the Omnifer is used with a special app, light dots will appear on the screen underneath the gas chambers, causing the gas to expand and create physical raised dots on the surface of the case. Whilst this might not mean much in theory, in practice it creates real-time, readable braille on the iPad for users who are visually-impaired. Clever, right?
The three-panel design of this case means that users can choose whether braille mode is in use or not, simply by flipping up the braille section of the case and tucking it around the back. Apple have already shown us how iPads can be used to help those with disabilities, but they didn’t get as far as to think of this. The Omnifer case has been entered for the 2011 IDEA design awards, and we’re hoping it’ll be a winner.